988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Debuts
On July 16, the United States launched the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Using 988, callers nationwide can reach compassionate, accessible support for mental health-related distress for themselves or loved ones. The new calling code connects to the existing national Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide crisis support for thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.
The 988 launch is part of a plan to strengthen and expand America’s existing network of crisis call centers. When a person calls 988, they are connected to a counselor from a network of over 200 local crisis centers. Because it uses one simple, 3-digit number, 988 makes it easier to get help when needed.
988 is confidential, free, and can be accessed through any type of phone – landline, cell, or VOIP. Live 988 voice services are available in both English and Spanish, plus over 250 other languages through Language Line. Text services (in English) are also available via 988.